In Austin, Texas, many veterinarian clinics are already closing down due to the coronavirus threat.

Dr. Stephen Kerpsack, head surgeon at Central Texas Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital, is urging pet owners to take extra care of their animal companions during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said animal hospitals are not just dealing with a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), but also dealing with fewer resources due to the lockdown.

“Many of our shifts were filled by veterinarians that only worked part-time, that maybe worked one or two shifts a month. We had to eliminate them from our staffing because we didn’t want them to contaminate a shift,” he said.

Kerpsack said the work has not slowed down a but as they treat dogs with rattlesnake bites, dogs hit by cars, and others who had suffered heatstroke, which is why he reiterated his plea to humans to stay at home and keep their pets safe with them.

“Pets that may not be able to wait and that are going to need those supplies because they are diabetic or have heart failure and they can’t wait and it’s not their fault or their owner’s fault,” Kerpsack said.

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